As the editor of an engineering magazine, I get to see all of the latest cutting-edge technology the moment it hits the streets. On average we get anywhere from 20 – 30 new product announcements a day, all of which must be evaluated on their merits. Most of the products are designed to satisfy some need, solve some problem, or generally make life on this planet better, but every so often I’ll come across one that leaves me scratching my head, wondering why anyone would want it.

Take a new product called FotoMuse for example. The brainchild of photographer and fitness expert Kris Gebhardt , FotoMuse is a new app for the iPhone  that lets users add flaws and imperfections to the photos they snap with their cell phones. Yes, you read that correctly. If the pictures you take with your iPhone aren’t bad enough already, you can now add a variety of flaws and imperfections that most serious photographers try to avoid such as scratches, blotches, light leaks, toner stains, uneven borders, etc.

Why would you want to do that? Because according to Mr. Gebhardt, “So called ‘imperfect’ photographs are much more visually interesting than stock images or those that have been Photoshopped to perfection. With FotoMuse, we’ve created a new category in photography – where street glamour meets fine art via the iPhone.”

I’m sure by now you’re wondering just how Mr. Gebhardt came up with this novel idea. I know I was. Well, according to the press release, he was working a photo shoot one day when his camera jammed, putting the whole job in jeopardy. Most professional photographers I know would’ve simply switched to a backup camera, but Mr. Gebhardt instead whipped out his trusty iPhone and completed the assignment (hey, you can’t make this stuff up!). He claims he “now regularly takes fashion, glamour, beauty, and figure shots with the mobile device.” Call me old-fashioned, but if I’m spending thousands of dollars on a photo shoot and the photographer suddenly starts clicking away with his iPhone, I don’t care what apps he’s using – somebody’s getting fired!

Apple is fond of boasting that there are iPhone apps for everything. Including one that now puts into photos what I used to spend hours in the darkroom taking out. Because it’s now considered “art.” Who knew?

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